Working in the AgriTech sector has been one of the most gratifying and educational experiences of my life. I’ve worked across various sectors from automotive and beauty to healthcare, but nothing quite prepares you for working in this industry. Things are evolving at such a fast rate with technology that we’re entering unchartered territory; this is what gets me out of bed in a morning, knowing that we’re involved in something so exciting, new and revolutionary. I’m harnessing all of the knowledge and experience that I’ve accumulated over the past 15 years in marketing, while learning so much at the same time.
“Adopting a ‘nothing to lose’ mentality breeds opportunity”
What I’d say to anyone wanting to pursue the same career path is be prepared for both success and failure, but whatever happens, you have to go for it. Sometimes you can pitch an idea and somebody might run with it, or it might be rejected just because someone else doesn’t agree or share your vision, but it’s nothing personal. Just roll with it; the market is always changing and there will be another opportunity for something else around the corner. It’s also important to develop thick skin and be flexible, which often comes with experience.
I love the fact that no two days are the same. One day you can be pulling together social media campaigns and overseeing the website, then product launches, specification sheets or filming onsite the next. Then there’s been the investor and legal PR communications since LST floated in October, which has been an eye-opener and learning curve! I enjoy working here because what we’re doing collectively is something totally different and game changing.
“Team banter and an open-door culture fuels the team”
We’re a dynamic, small knit team which is steadily growing. It’s stripped of any corporate structure or political hierarchy. I’d say we’re a friendly, supportive bunch; being able to gel together and have banter helps fuel everyone’s work ethic a little more.
We also have very much an open-door policy that allows us to freely share ideas. It feels exciting and fresh to be part of a fast-evolving, innovative, tech-driven industry. Indoor farming and AgriTech is slowly coming to the forefront of people’s consciousness and sustainability is becoming more integrated into people’s lives thanks to events such as COP26; or it might be that perhaps they have seen something on TV about vertical farming, or food or labour shortages due to Brexit. There’s a growing general awareness of what we’re doing is a solution to these issues affecting us all.
Industry leaders and innovators such as our CEO and founder Simon want to ensure farmers and growers can optimise their yield while being more energy and cost efficient, which feeds into the bigger picture of utilising more sustainable ways of producing fresh food, reducing the impact of climate change and addressing the problem of food shortage.
“We’re at an exciting turning point for AgriTech”
AgriTech is growing at such a fast rate, but we still need to shift the mindset of traditional farming. There’s a huge government drive to change policy with the National Food strategy. This poses both an opportunity and a challenge for LST. It’s about driving that change and knowledge. You’ve got an eclectic mix of industries – there’s vertical farming that’s tech led and relatively new, then you’ve got more traditional indoor farming environments such as greenhouses and polytunnels. Our goal is to marry these all up through the use of AgriTech and apply a sustainable ethos.
For the sector, I think we’re at a turning point, which COP26 has shown. We’re seeing more and more companies coming along such as Dyson Farming to shake things up. The sector is attracting heavy investment.
I think for LST, over the next five years we’ll be looking to capture that market, and really get our teeth into some really great projects and potentially expand beyond Europe, which is a very exciting prospect.